Remember a couple weeks back when I was bitching about how time consuming this endeavor is? Well, I think I’ve finally found the answer.
Of course, you’ll have to excuse my n00b as I’m fairly green to the medium. I understand that I tipped the bit a panel early and that color, in general, is not generally accepted. But I tried and that’s the important part, right?
I’ve got a couple of talking points so do me a favor and hold on to your dicks because we’re in for a long one.
Rage comics, in general, are terrible. I’m sure we can all agree that most are nonsensical and poorly written. This comic is of no exception. Although what rage comics have demonstrated is that webcomics are accessible to anyone who has a penchant to fill-in-the-blank and while this has a propensity to dilute the medium, it provides a voice to those who may lack artistic talent. What was interesting with the trend- at least in my case- is that the words bore much more of the yoke in the meaning. What I mean to say is, that it wasn’t just pretty pictures carrying the message. I found myself blocking out any art altogether and keying in on the Courier New for brevity. Because I had a predisposition to believe that the comic was going to suck, I read for speed any time I saw the familiar four panels. The important part of it was that I was reading. I’m sure there can be some interesting study done on the psyche of the rage comics phenomena but I neither have the time nor the graduate sociology thesis to fulfill.
I want to share a bit about me now, so let go of your dicks and gather ’round.
If you’re unfamiliar with webcomics, then penny-arcade.com is almost always a good place to start. They’re one of the most successful in the business and an example in the industry of how to run a successful company. Recently, they ran a kickstarter campaign with a goal to raise enough money to run their website (and provide for their staff) without the need for an ad-based revenue model. As one of their stretch goals, they unlocked their “StripSearch” initiative. Basically, Strip Search is a reality show for webcomic artists.
It would be disingenuous to hide the fact that I entered the competition especially because I didn’t make the cut. Not even past the first round and into the top 100. A myriad of questions immediately ran through my head when I received the following automated message:
Thank you for applying to be on Strip Search! We had over 500
people submit to be on the show, all of which had an incredible
amount of promise and/or talent. Unfortunately, we don’t feel this
season of Strip Search is right for you – there are only a dozen
spots to fill, so we’ve had to make some difficult decisions in our
Given the sheer volume of applicants, we sadly are unable to
answer specific questions about why you were not selected. We
just don’t have the bandwidth to cover those types of requests.
Good luck on your future endeavors – we’ll have your application
on file in case we feel your talents will be a better match for a
future season. Thanks!
Was I not good enough? Was my work too trite or contrived? Did they just not like ME?! I felt I had prepared a very compelling presentation and for sure, for sure, if they saw it: I’d be a shoo-in. Absolutely and without a doubt.
But there in lies the rub: they never saw my portfolio. Never even looked at it.
How do I know? Well… I know. I provided a very unique URL and even coded some triggers to alert me that the site was hit. It was never hit before I received the email.
I understand the process is long and arduous. It can’t be fun to have to sift through over 500 entries and cull through their questions as well as their stupid drawings. But I believed that’s what was to be. I believed that because I had gotten to know the people behind the comic through their PATV web series, that I felt the competition they were running was to be a meritocracy. That if I presented my work and myself in a manner that would ring to them, then they’d have no chance at denying me. I can guarantee that I worked harder on my proposal than any of the other entrants and to have my portfolio not even so much as even glanced upon hurts.
But that’s the reality of reality TV.
Maybe I didn’t answer the questions quite right but I was under the impression that we would be primarily on our works. I felt my answers were just and heart-felt. I double and triple-checked my spelling and grammar. I made sure to stay under the word limit. But it was all for naught.
Does that mean I’m going to boycott? Despite the sting, absolutely not. I love the PATV site and love pretty much anything they churn out over at Penny-Arcade. They’re an inspiration and a beacon. That’s why I wanted so badly to be on the show. Not for the prize money- I would have done it for no prize and even paid my way to Seattle. I wanted to be in that atmosphere and excel at the challenges they’d have put me through and sure, the exposure would be nice, but just to have had the opportunity to contribute to their show would have been momentous for me.
I would have fucked it all up. No chance!
Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t selected: they wanted a competition and not a slaughter.